Keto pesto chicken casserole with feta cheese and olives
- 1½ lbs 650 g boneless chicken thighs
- salt and pepper
- 2 tbsp 2 tbsp butter or coconut oil
- 1⁄3 cup (2¾ oz.) 80 ml (80 g) red pesto or green pesto
- 1¼ cups 300 ml
- 3 oz. (2⁄3 cup) 85 g (150 ml) pitted olives
- 5 oz. (1 cup) 140 g (220 ml) feta cheese, diced
- 1 1 garlic clove, finely choppedgarlic cloves, finely chopped
- 5 oz. (2½ cups) 140 g (600 ml) leafy greens
- Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
- Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add butter or oil to a large skillet and fry the chicken pieces in batches on medium-high heat until golden brown.
- Using store-bought low-carb red or green pesto, or making your own, mix pesto and heavy cream in a bowl.
- Place the fried chicken pieces in a baking dish together with olives, feta cheese and garlic. Add the pesto/cream mixture.
- Bake in oven for 20-30 minutes, until the dish turns bubbly and light brown around the edges.
A number of low-carb store-bought varieties of pesto are available in most grocery stores.
Red pesto is typically made with basil leaves, tomatoes or sun-dried tomatoes, Parmesan cheese, olive oil, pine nuts and garlic. Green pesto is typically made with basil leaves, Parmesan cheese, olive oil, pine nuts and garlic. Look for ones with real olive oil, not soybean oil or canola oil, no sugar, and less than 5 net carbs per serving.
A simple side dish of field greens or crunchy romaine lettuce complements the rich flavors. Lightly sautéed asparagus or green beans work, too.
This dish can be prepared by frying the chicken ahead of time. You can assemble the entire casserole and keep in the fridge for a day before baking it. Just make sure you let it come to room temperature before placing in the oven. It's also good to give it a stir since the pesto can sink to the bottom.
If you have chicken or turkey leftovers, they are perfect for this dish. Just skip the first 3 steps of the instructions and take it from there. If you're short on time you can also use a rotisserie chicken. Take the meat off the bones and divide it into bite-sized pieces. Follow the instructions from step 3.
Storing and reheating
If you intend to eat the casserole within 2-3 days you can store it in the fridge. Otherwise it's better to place the casserole in the freezer where it will last up to 3 months. Make sure your casserole dish is suitable for freezing.
If freezing, let thaw in the refrigerator the day before you plan on serving it. Don’t place a cold baking dish straight from the fridge into a hot oven as this can cause your dish to crack. Reheat the casserole in the oven at 300°F (150°C) until thoroughly warm.